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Queensland's top sailors Mat Belcher and Will Ryan finish 2014 with a bang

16 January 2015

Queensland’s World Champions Mat Belcher and Will Ryan’s 2016 Rio Olympics campaign is off to a flying start after winning the Men’s 470 sailing event at the “Copa Brasil de Vela” on Rio de Janeiro’s Guanabara Bay on Saturday 20 December 2014.

After five back to back race wins at the regatta, the duo were six points ahead of the USA’s Stuart McNay and Dave Hughes going into the final. A finish in second place was all that was needed for the World #1 470 crew to take the crown.

The race capped off a successful 2014 for the duo who qualified to represent Australia in the 470 sailing event at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games at the ISAF Olympic World Championships in Santander, Spain earlier in the year.

The latest regatta proved every bit its worth as they tested Olympic waters against 160 sailors from 20 countries across 10 Olympic classes.

Despite missing out on competing in the World Cup regatta in Melbourne, Belcher explained competing in the Copa Brasil de Vela was an opportunity not to be missed as they were up against a high quality fleet including a majority of the top 10 in the world.

The duo are proving every bit their worth in the lead up to Rio as they finished on the podium at every international regatta they competed in, culminating in being crowned World Champions, European Champions and Australian Champions in the 470 sailing event in 2014.

Their 2015 season will begin at the end of January at the ISAF Sailing World Cup in Miami, USA before competing at the 470 Australian Nationals at the Gold Coast in February.

Last updated
16 January 2015